Genesis 26:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 26:9, NIV: "So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, 'She is really your wife! Why did you say, 'She is my sister'?' Isaac answered him, 'Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.'"

Genesis 26:9, ESV: "So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘Lest I die because of her.’”"

Genesis 26:9, KJV: "And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her."

Genesis 26:9, NASB: "Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, 'Behold, she certainly is your wife! So how is it that you said, ‘She is my sister’?' And Isaac said to him, 'Because I thought, ‘otherwise I might be killed on account of her.’?'"

Genesis 26:9, NLT: "Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, 'She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, 'She is my sister'?' 'Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,' Isaac replied."

Genesis 26:9, CSB: "Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, "So she is really your wife! How could you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac answered him, "Because I thought I might die on account of her.""

What does Genesis 26:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When confronted by Abimelech about his lie that Rebekah was his sister, Isaac tells the truth about his fear: he didn't want to die because of his wife. As was the case when Abraham did the same thing (Genesis 12:11–13), it's hard to feel respect for a man who would do such a thing to his spouse. Even the pagan king is angered at this deception, even though nobody has suffered for it, yet. This might be a lingering lesson from the earlier incident with Abraham, where a prior king, also called Abimelech (Genesis 20:2), was faced with consequences when he nearly violated Sarah's marriage to Abraham (Genesis 20:3–6). Despite his fear and faithlessness, God will provide protection for Isaac, no matter how untrusting he appears to be.